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Penal Code fails to adequately protect sexual assault victims

Antara News - July 25, 2021

Putu Savitri, Fadhli Ruhman, Jakarta – The Penal Code (KUHP) does not yet provide adequate protection to women victims of sexual violence, Commissioner of the National Commission on Women (Komnas Perempuan) Maria Ulfah Anshor stated.

According to Anshor, KUHP only recognizes terms, such as rape, harassment, and sexual intercourse. Meanwhile, referring to several cases of sexual violence that Komnas Perempuan had handled before, there are still many incidents of sexual violence that are not regulated in the KUHP, Anshor noted.

"Forced marriage, sexual exploitation, forced sterilization, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, and sexual torture are forms of sexual violence that are not yet recognized by Indonesia's judicial system," Commissioner of Komnas Perempuan stated after being contacted by ANTARA here on Thursday (July 22).

Anshor noted that KUHP's inadequacy in protecting victims of sexual violence could further complicate the process of securing justice for such women.

"This is despite the fact that the right to justice is a Constitutional right under the Indonesian Constitution of 1945," Anshor pointed out.

To this end, she called to immediately ratify the sexual violence bill (RUU PKS), as it is a form of the government's commitment to protecting the Constitutional rights of victims of sexual violence.

"If RUU PKS is not ratified, then it is an indicator that the country is allowing sexual violence to occur," Anshor stated.

Anshor strongly believes that delaying the ratification of RUU PKS limits access to justice for victims of sexual violence and also eliminates any safety net for women, both adults and children, as well as women with disabilities.

"Tens of thousands of victims of sexual violence are waiting for access to justice," the commissioner stressed.

Komnas Perempuan has suggested the RUU PKS since 2012, but it had yet to gain approval in order to be ratified by the House of Representatives (DPR), as several points contained in the bill had to be reviewed further.

Source: https://en.antaranews.com/news/180482/penal-code-fails-to-adequately-protect-sexual-assault-victim